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Corporatization to Globalization: The Changing Dynamics and Performance of State-owned Enterprises

Special issue call for papers from International Journal of Public Sector Management

Guest Editors

Lead Editor:
En Xie, Professor, School of Management, Xi’an Jiaotong University, Xi’an, China

Submissions Editor:
K.S. Reddy, School of Management, Xi’an Jiaotong University, Xi’an, China

Scope of the Special Issue

This Call for Papers invites submissions for a special issue on the Changing Dynamics and Performance of State-owned Enterprises driven by institutional transitions such as Corporatization and Globalization.

Extant public economic literature, coupled with strategy, finance and international business, has explored issues of state-owned enterprises (SOEs). In particular, scholars have examined the effects of privatization and corporatization strategic reforms on the performance of large- and medium-scale central and provincial level enterprises in different institutional settings, including the Western and Southern continentals (Aivazian et al., 2005; Bozec and Breton, 2003; Li et al., 2006; Shirley, 1999; Zhang, 2004; Zhu, 1999). A critical survey of scholarly research published over the past three decades highlights two major contributions. On the one hand, since corporatization is an economic policy instrument of governments, it has a significant positive impact on the performance of SOEs (Aivazian et al., 2005; Bozec and Breton, 2003). Essentially, corporatization is a navigator of financial and operational restructuring mechanisms directed by governments of the country, in order to improve the efficiency, productivity, profitability, and visibility of SOEs in national markets rather than privatizing large-scale and national-importance industries. It emphasizes ownership structure, capital mobilization, stock markets listing, corporate governance, business reengineering, and economic development of the country. Importantly, corporatization provides more autonomy to SOEs, while it diminishes direct government involvement driven by ruling political party and public bureaucrats (Liang et al., 2015). In this direction, several scholars reveal that corporatization strategy not only improves the operational and financial performance of SOEs, but also enhances the competitive capabilities in the domestic market (Aivazian et al., 2005; Bozec and Breton, 2003; Li et al., 2006; Zhang, 2004).

On the other hand, given that institutional reforms and local market competition affect firm’s investment choices (Peng, 2003), several SOEs from Asia, Europe and Middle East have markedly diversified into global geographies through greenfield and acquisition methods, especially since the outbreak of global financial crisis. Undoubtedly, lower asset valuations and market opportunities in developed economies around the 2007-2009 global financial turmoil are the central focus between corporatization and globalization of government-owned entities. This economic distress has been coincided with the favorable institutional environment, developed capital markets, and deep pockets of SOEs in emerging economies, particularly China, Brazil, India and Russia. For Clò et al. (2015), SOEs are large in terms of assets, employment and turnover, and characterized by higher financial performance in terms of operating profit, return on sales and return on profits. On an average, SOEs account for 10% of global GDP, 20% of global market capitalization, and more than 10% of world’s largest multinational enterprises. Even more interestingly, nine out of 15 largest public offerings between 2005 and 2012 are initiated by SOEs (cf. Bruton et al., 2015). In case of outbound acquisitions, for example, the Chinese CNOOC acquired Canadian Nexen for US$19 billion, Italian Enel bought nearly US$3 billion of assets of electoral services in Colombia, and the Indian ONGC acquired Imperial Energy for US$2.8 billion.

In recent years, although a few studies have investigated the burgeoning phenomenon of internationalization strategy of SOEs (Cuervo-Cazurra et al., 2014; Florio, 2014; Grossi et al., 2015; He et al., 2016; Karolyi and Liao, 2016; Shapiro and Globerman, 2012; Tingley et al., 2015), there is a significant dearth of scholarly research on the theoretical development of SOEs’ strategic investment choices and firm performance (Bruton et al., 2015; Lebedev et al., 2015; Martin and Li, 2015). At the same time, there is hardly any study that establishes the bridge between corporatization and globalization strategies of government-owned enterprises. This raises three research questions. First, how does corporatization drive SOEs toward global market expansion? Second, what are the national and international determinants of cross-border investments by SOEs? Third, what is the relationship between internationalization and performance of stand-alone SOEs, firms with different percentages of state-ownership, and stand-alone privately owned enterprises (POEs)? In terms of academic contribution, how do SOEs strategic choices and firm performance contribute to economic and management theories, such as agency theory, OLI, institutional theory, resource-based view, resource-dependence, resource security, transaction cost economics, and public choice.

We invite papers on topics related to these questions, for example:

• Conceptual development of privatization, corporatization and globalization of SOEs
• Privatization vs. Corporatization and operating performance of SOEs
• Impact of corporatization on the performance of SOEs vs. performance of POEs
• Corporatization and stock markets listing, and performance of SOEs
• Internationalization strategies of SOEs and POEs
• Characteristics of SOEs and POEs in the market for corporate control
• The changing dynamics of SOEs aftermath of the global financial crisis
• Determinants of greenfield investment strategy of SOEs
• Determinants of cross-border mergers and acquisitions by SOEs
• Host country government, ruling political party and market entry of SOEs
• Stock returns around acquisition announcements of SOEs and POEs
• State-ownership vs. Institutional investors and global strategy of SOEs and POEs
• State-ownership vs. business group affiliation and global strategy of SOEs and POEs
• The roles of SOEs in home and host country development
• Abandonment of announced cross-border acquisitions by SOEs and POEs
• Single/Cross-country and Sector studies
• Methods: Conceptual, Empirical, Survey and Case study research   


Submission of full papers via Journal’s Online Submission System: 31 March 2017
Editorial Desk decision: Within a week from the submission date
First round review comments communicated to authors: Within 75 days from the submission date
Re-submission of first round selected papers: Within three months from the first decision date 
Second round review/Final submission due: 31 October 2017
Expected Publication: First quarter of 2018
Special issue protocol: Editorial/Review process starts as soon as submission is received. Early submissions are highly encouraged.   

Submission of Papers

• Papers can be uploaded at:
• When uploading a paper, make sure to select the appropriate issue (special issue “Corporatization to Globalization of SOEs”).
• Follow the author guidelines regarding word limit, citation and referencing style, and uploading of files (please find here,
• Make sure that your manuscript has been proof read by a professional editor.

Please feel free to contact us for any queries relating to manuscript preparation, submission and review process.
Submissions Editor: K.S. Reddy ([email protected])


Aivazian, V. A., Ge, Y., & Qiu, J. (2005). Can corporatization improve the performance of state-owned enterprises even without privatization?. Journal of Corporate Finance, 11(5), 791-808.
Bozec, R., & Breton, G. (2003). The impact of the corporatization process on the financial performance of Canadian state-owned enterprises. International Journal of Public Sector Management, 16(1), 27-47.
Bruton, G. D., Peng, M. W., Ahlstrom, D., Stan, C., & Xu, K. (2015). State-owned enterprises around the world as hybrid organizations. Academy of Management Perspectives, 29(1), 92-114.
Clò, S., Del Bo, C. F., Ferraris, M., Florio, M., Vandone, D., & Fiorio, C. (2015). Public enterprises in the market for corporate control: recent worldwide evidence. Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics, 86(4), 559-583.
Cuervo-Cazurra, A., Inkpen, A., Musacchio, A., & Ramaswamy, K. (2014). Governments as owners: State-owned multinational companies. Journal of International Business Studies, 45(8), 919-942.
Florio, M. (2014). Contemporary public enterprises: innovation, accountability, governance. Journal of Economic Policy Reform, 17(3), 201-208.
Grossi, G., Papenfuß, U., & Tremblay, M.S. (2015). Corporate governance and accountability of state-owned enterprises: Relevance for science and society and interdisciplinary research perspectives. International Journal of Public Sector Management, 28(4-5), 274-285.
He, X., Eden, L., & Hitt, M. A. (2016). The renaissance of state‐owned multinationals. Thunderbird International Business Review, 58(2), 117-129.
Karolyi, G. A. & Liao, R. C. (2016). State capitalism’s global reach: evidence from foreign acquisitions by state-owned companies. Journal of Corporate Finance (in press).
Lebedev, S., Peng, M. W., Xie, E., & Stevens, C. E. (2015). Mergers and acquisitions in and out of emerging economies. Journal of World Business, 50(4), 651-662.
Li, Y., Sun, Y., & Liu, Y. (2006). An empirical study of SOEs' market orientation in transitional China. Asia Pacific Journal of Management, 23(1), 93-113.
Liang, H., Ren, B., & Sun, S. L. (2015). An anatomy of state control in the globalization of state-owned enterprises. Journal of International Business Studies, 46(2), 223-240.
Martin, X., & Li, C. (2015). What do we know about state-owned emerging-economy firms, and how? Evaluating literature about inward and outward multinational activities (403-439). In: L. Tihanyi, E.R. Banalieva, T.M. Devinney, & T. Pedersen (Eds), Advances in International Management, 28. Bingley, England: Emerald.
Oum, T. H., Adler, N., & Yu, C. (2006). Privatization, corporatization, ownership forms and their effects on the performance of the world's major airports. Journal of Air Transport Management, 12(3), 109-121.
Peng, M. W. (2003). Institutional transitions and strategic choices. Academy of Management Review, 28(2), 275-296.
Shapiro, D., & Globerman, S. (2012). The international activities and impacts of state-owned enterprises. In K. P. Sauvant, L. Sachs, & W. P. F. Schmit Jongbloed (Eds), Sovereign investment: Concerns and policy reactions. New York: Oxford University Press.
Shirley, M. M. (1999). Bureaucrats in business: The roles of privatization versus corporatization in state-owned enterprise reform. World Development, 27(1), 115-136.
Tingley, D., Xu, C., Chilton, A., & Milner, H. V. (2015). The political economy of inward FDI: opposition to Chinese mergers and acquisitions. Chinese Journal of International Politics, 8(1), 27-57.
Zhang, L. Y. (2004). The roles of corporatization and stock market listing in reforming China’s state industry. World Development, 32(12), 2031-2047.
Zhu, T. (1999). China's corporatization drive: an evaluation and policy implications. Contemporary Economic Policy, 17(4), 530-539.

About the Guest Editors

En Xie (PhD) is a Professor of Management at the School of Management, Xi’an Jiaotong University, China. His research interests include global market expansion of firms from emerging economies, suppliers’ governance in alliance networks, performance feedback, and strategic decision-making. He has published in high quality academic journals like Strategic Management Journal, Journal of Operations Management, Journal of World Business, and other leading management journals in China.

K.S. Reddy (PhD) is a Research staff at the School of Management, Xi’an Jiaotong University, China. He specially focuses on mergers and acquisitions, leveraged buyouts, case study research, and journal metrics. He has been a Handling Editor for special issues of journals such as Management Research, International Journal of Law and Management, Global Business and Economics Review, and International Journal of Commerce and Management, among others.